Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Telefónica bags more soccer rights; fiber for Exeter; Colt chooses ADVA for NFV; Deutsche Telekom's World Cup AI.
Ålcom, which offers mobile service on the Baltic Sea island of Åland, has this week been carrying out field tests of 5G New Radio (NR) Standalone technology, with handholding from Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC). The tests took place in Mariehamn, Åland's largest town, in the 3.5MHz band. The island belongs to Finland, whose inhabitants are some of the hungriest devourers of data in the world. According to Ericsson, commercial 5G services are expected to start there in early 2019.
Just days after securing the broadcast rights to Spain's La Liga soccer championship, Telefónica has announced that it has also acquired the Spanish rights to the UEFA Champions League and Europa League for the next three seasons, subject to authorization from UEFA, the organization that runs European soccer. This now means that Telefónica holds all the paid soccer rights in the Spanish residential market. Telefónica is paying €360 million ($419.6 million) per season for the rights, which were secured from Mediapro. (See Eurobites: Telefónica Bags Rights to La Liga Soccer.)
The English cathedral city of Exeter has become next on the list for Openreach , the quasi-autonomous network access division of BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), as it rolls out its Fibre First program. Exeter is the ninth UK city to feature in the first phase of the program, which Openreach ultimately expects to bring FTTP technology within reach of 3 million homes and businesses by 2020. At the last count, there were 27.2 million households in the UK. (See Eurobites: Openreach Finally Puts 'Fibre First'.)
Colt Technology Services Group Ltd has chosen ADVA's Ensemble Connector open NFV platform to power its new universal customer premises equipment (uCPE) offering. Ensemble Connector, says ADVA Optical Networking , will provide a network operating system and hosting environment for third-party solutions and VNFs, such as SD-WAN and firewalls, all running on standard servers.
UK cable operator Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) has had its wrists slapped by ComReg, the Irish telecom regulator, for failing to comply with EU regulations on how tariffs should be presented. The notification relates to how Virgin presented and subsequently changed "certain extra charges." Virgin has until July 23 to make its case; if it doesn't, ComReg may apply to the High Court to take the matter further.
Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) has been having fun using artificial intelligence to predict the results of the soccer World Cup. The experiment has gone pretty well, on the whole, though the prediction that home favorites Germany would reach the final turned out, as we now know, to be about as accurate as the decisive English penalty in a World Cup shoot-out.
DT's AI guys: "Sorry, losing 2-0 to South Korea does not compute."